Regular readers of our Matchday Magazine will know all the facts and figures behind each new week at Cliftonville Football Club, while our Twitter followers are regaled with daily delves into the archives – and this weekend’s win over Carrick Rangers provided a particularly significant landmark.
The contest marked the Reds’ 3000th League fixture and the team certainly celebrated the occasion in style with a five-star display that saw Michael McCrudden register his third hat-trick of the season alongside efforts from Garry Breen and Barry Coffey.
The Club’s Heritage Development Officer, Paul Treanor, notes that the 3000 figure does not include abandoned games which were replayed, but does comprise such matches where the result stood. Likewise, ‘Test Matches’ from the early years of Irish League football are contained within the numbers, whereas modern day Play-Off outings are not.
Had Cliftonville, who were 4-0 up at half-time against Carrick yesterday, maintained that scoring ratio after the interval, they would have mirrored the result from the Club’s first ever League fixture – an 8-0 defeat to Linfield at Solitude on September 6, 1890.
The Reds’ first League win came seven days later when Oldpark were overcome 3-2, while their first success on home soil followed on September 20 (the Club’s 11th anniversary) courtesy of a 4-1 triumph against Ulster.
Since the advent of League football in Ireland 131 years ago, Cliftonville have competed in the Irish League, two wartime Regional Leagues, the Premier League and the Premiership – the latter two of which have been combined in our statistical update.
Across the 3000 fixtures contested, the Reds have recorded 931 wins, 610 draws and 1459 defeats, with 4273 goals scored and 6027 conceded.
As well as being his first impression on the scoresheet for Cliftonville, Coffey’s eye-catching finish yesterday was the Club’s 1370th goal of the Premier League era and means the Reds’ next League strike at Solitude will be their 730th Premiership goal on home soil.
Breakdown of Cliftonville’s First 3000 League Games
Irish League (1890-1915; 1920-1940; 1947-1995)
P1898 W514 D359 L1025 F2655 A4256
Regional League (1915-1919; 1940-1947)
P196 W26 D28 L142 F248 A614
Premier League/ Premiership (1995-2008/ 2008-2021)
P906 W391 D223 L292 F1370 A1157
P3000 W931 D610 L1459 F4273 A6027